Absence of Physicians Blunts Benefits of Malpractice Mediation

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Mediation is a useful tool for hospitals to resolve medical malpractice cases, but physicians rarely attend mediation sessions, making it more difficult to piece together the mistakes made and how they might be prevented, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal Health Blog.

In a study in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, researchers examined 31 hospital cases under mediation, defined as a voluntary, confidential process in which a third party, the mediator, assists both sides in coming to mutually acceptable resolution.
About two-thirds of the cases were settled in mediation or subsequent to mediation.

However, physicians involved in the cases did not attend any of the sessions in the study, citing full work schedules. Lack of physician participation did not allow the hospital to "repair the relationship" with the patient or to collect information to explain happened so as to prevent errors from happening again, the study said.

Read the Wall Street Journal Health Blog report on malpractice.

Read more coverage of malpractice cases:

- Malpractice Claim Frequency Declining

- Study: 50% of Med Students Plan to Leave Illinois Due to Malpractice Environment

- Maryland's St. Joseph Medical Hit With More Than 100 Malpractice Claims After Alleged Unnecessary Stent Procedures

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